"Humanity is facing a global emergency. Extreme poverty and climate-related disasters are taking the lives of over 40,000 people every single day and severely affecting many millions of others. At the same time, dramatic cutbacks in public spending on social welfare and essential services are making it increasingly difficult for many families to meet their basic needs, even in the richest nations.
Global military expenditure has risen by more than 50% since 2001, reaching over $1.7tn in 2011 – 12 times more than global spending on aid.
Diverting only a quarter of this amount would free up $434.5bn each year that governments could instead use to save lives and prevent extreme deprivation.
Strengthening United Nations peacekeeping efforts is an important way to reduce both conflict and military spending. The financial gains of such initiatives may be 39 times greater than their cost.
Given the threat to peace and security posed by climate change, poverty and inequality, countries need to adopt a new security strategy based on international cooperation and economic sharing in order to address the underlying causes of conflict.
￼There is no better example of humanity's dangerous misuse of financial resources than the vast sums of money spent each year on the machinery of warfare."